1. ITV Report

Polar research ship known as 'Boaty McBoatface' launches

The RRS Sir David Attenborough hull launch into the River Mersey. Credit: ITV News Anglia

A state-of-the-art polar research ship to be operated by the Cambridge based British Antarctic Survey, has reached a major milestone in its construction.

Broadcaster and Naturalist Sir David Attenborough launched the vessel into the River Mersey for the first time.

More work still needs to be done onboard the 129 metre long ship which has been named after Sir David. Originally people had voted to call it 'Boaty McBoat face' in an online poll.

The research ship is part of a £200 million investment by the Government in polar research, to look at the effects of climate change.

The launch attracted huge crowds with a large screen put up so everyone could watch the presentation Credit: ITV News Anglia

"Now we realise that this remote place is in fact key to the whole understanding of our planet. What goes on down there effects the whole of the earth on which we live."

– Sir David Attenborough
The ship successfully launched Credit: ITV News Anglia

The ship will now be towed by tugs to a wet basin for the next stages of construction. The ship is not expected to come into operation until 2019.